By Kimberly Ashbrook
Looking for a smaller pool close to Champaign-Urbana without the bells and whistles of a busy aquatic center? The Tuscola Pool might be just the thing to cool your kiddos off, without overwhelming them.
Located inside Tuscola’s Ervin Park, the pool is surrounded by playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts and is home to a Tropical-Sno concession stand. Have a train fanatic? The train goes right by this pool, making for some good train watching from our chairs.
The admission fee was a mere $4 per person, making the Tuscola swimming pool the most economical pool near Champaign-Urbana. Bring cash or even checks, as credit can only be done online before you arrive. The Tropical-Sno concession stand is cash only. I read that there are snack vending machines on site, but I don’t remember seeing any.
While the Tuscola Pool is small by most community pool standards, it does have the required elements for pool fun: Water, diving boards, other kids to play with, and a water slide. My boys liked the diving boards, and also the tube-style water slide. And while the water slide seemed pretty simple to me, they spent two happy hours going up the steps and then down the water slide.
The pool had plenty of seating on the quiet but hot afternoon my crew and I visited. On busier days, I wonder if seating might be an issue. The main pool is sectioned off from the concession area and a small 6-inch depth baby-friendly wading pool area, complete with plastic baby toys. This pool does not have family changing rooms, so plan accordingly.
While there is no grass to lounge on inside the pool area, there is shade provided by large stationary umbrellas. The concession stand eating area is under a pavilion. The staff at the pool was friendly, kind, and professional.
After our trip to the pool, my boys explored the fantastic wooden play structure in the park, located just across the pool. “It’s just like Meadowbrook!” my boys exclaimed. It was great fun to explore a familiar structure in a different park.
I left our trip to the Tuscola Pool with two happy and tired campers. Our quick trip to the pool was just what my boys needed to cool off on another beautiful Central Illinois summer day.
Tuscola Swimming Pool
Location: Ervin Park (Northline Road and Main Street)
Season: May 30 – Aug. 14
Regular Hours: Daily (weather permitting) 12:30 – 7:30 p.m. Adult swim daily 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m..
Daily Pass Price: $4 per person; book of 10 passes available for $30. No credit/debit cards taken. EVERYONE being admitted to the pool is required to pay admission.
Season Pass Prices: Passes go on sale May 1 and can be purchased at City Hall (214 N. Main Street) until the pool opens.
Individuals: $55 resident/$60 non-resident
Family: $100 resident/$110 non-resident
Seniors, 60+: $35 resident/$40 non-resident